Thursday, April 22, 2021

Pakistan proposes maximum 10-yrs jail term and seizure of property in money laundering cases

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Senate standing committee for finance has recommended maximum 10 years’ jail sentence and seizure of property of the accused in money laundering cases, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

A session of the finance committee of the upper house, chaired by chairman Farooque H. Naik, reviewed the Anti-Money Laundering (amendment) bill 2019 here.

The members suggested increase in sentence for those involved in money laundering related crimes. The session recommended for maximum five million rupees fine, 10 years jail term and seizure of property in the offence.

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Director General Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) Mansoor Siddiqui told the Senate body that harsh punishment is meant to implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations to curb money laundering and terror financing.

The Saudi law awards 10 years imprisonment and five million Riyals sentence to offenders of money laundering, the official said.

In Singapore the offenders of money laundering punished with a fine of 500,000 dollars, he added.

Senator Farooque Naik read out relevant part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, after which Senator Aysha Raza remarked that the proposed amendment in the law was not related to the recommendations of the FATF.

Naik said that the minimum one year sentence in the money laundering offence should remain unchanged and it should not be amended calling it inappropriate to remove minimum sentence in the offence.

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Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Wajid Zia, in his testimony before the committee said that the the investigation in money laundering case needs more time as it could not be completed within 90 days as suggested in the bill. He proposed a period of 190 days for bank record and investigation in such cases.

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